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    Description

    Powerful Persic Tetradrachm

    KINGDOM OF PERSIS. Bagadat (Bayadad). Mid 3rd century BC. AR tetradrachm (32mm, 17.00 gm, 8h). Diademed head of Bagadat right, with short beard, mustache, and earring, wearing kyrbasia with flaps tied behind / Fire temple of Ahura-Mazda; to left, Bagadat standing right; to right, standard. Alram 515 var. (placement of legend). Heavily overstruck on an uncertain Alexander III-type tetradrachm. Very rare. Exceptionally deep strike and high-relief portrait. Extremely Fine.

    Ex CNG 84 (5 May 2010), lot 781.

    Persis, home of the Achaemenid dynasty, obtained autonomy from Seleucid rule in the early third century BC and maintained a semi-independent existence as a vassal state of the Parthian Kingdom for the next five centuries. The historical record is virtually nonexistent, with the sub-kingdom's coinage providing virtually all we know about the ruling dynasty. The first quasi-independent prince was reputedly a Persian nobleman named Baykard; his son, known variously as Bayadad or Bagadat, was the first ruler to strike his own coins. Early Persic tetradrachms such as this exceedingly rare example display a unique blend of Hellenistic portraiture and Persian religious imagery. The excellent obverse portrait is fully Hellenistic despite the Eastern headdress, or kyrbasia, worn by the king. The reverse eschews Greek lettering for native Aramaic script. Like most Persic tetradrachms it is overstruck on a coin of Alexander the Great. The reverse depicts Bagadat worshipping before a Zoroastrian fire altar of Ahura Mazda, thus showing a link to the Achaemenid kings of old.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    Apr-May, 2012
    25th-1st Wednesday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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